M44 HMC - Out With The Old

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TL;DR: A M44 HMC in British service.

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History:

The need to motorize artillery was felt by the US military as early as WW1. Many projects attempted to satisfy this need, which was always evolving as time passed and technology improved, most failures but some successful. One such rare success was the M44 HMC, a lightweight and very mobile casemate 155mm howitzer carrier based on the chassis of the successful M41 Bulldog. As soon as the Korean War began, it became apparent that the M41 Gorilla just wasn’t going to cut it. It’s production run of 250 was cut short at the end of 1945 after only 85 were built, making them very limited, and the M24 Chaffee had been on its way out for a while. As such, developments to mount a 155mm howitzer onto a more modern platform began. The obvious choice for this was the developing M41 Bulldog. The finished M44 would be based on a reversed M41 Bulldog chassis with the transmission, thankfully, being reversed as well. The M44 would be accepted for standardized production in 1954, too late to take part in the Korean War. The US now had way more M44s than would be needed in peacetimes and they did not want the excess. As such, they were practically given away to anyone that was willing to take them. Around the same time, the British were looking to finally replace their Sexton SPGs for good as well as generally increase their stock of motorized artillery. In 1956, the British would acquire 58 M44s through the Mutual Defense Assistance Program and would deploy 52 of them to the British Army of the Rhine. The remaining 6 would be stationed in the UK where they replaced the Sextons. These SPHs would eventually be placed in reserve units before being retired and shipped back to the US to be scrapped in June, 1968, being replaced by the M109.

Place In War Thunder:

Quick derp vehicles have always had their fair share of fans. Their high-risk high-reward playstyles are very attractive to those just looking to have a good time. The Britain’s tank destroyer line, specifically Rank III, has always been horrendously anemic, with the Avenger being the only vehicle there. The M44 HMC would provide a faster, harder hitting, and generally more entertaining back up to the British 4.3 - 4.7 lineup. Playstyle would be similar to other high caliber derp vehicles with the exception of having much higher speed and mobility, allowing you to potentially appear in places where you are not expected. Your open-topped nature would still require you to play with caution, however. Out of sight and out of mind is what you should strive for. All this being said, the British do have an indigenous alternative to the M44 HMC in the form of the FV3805, however, this vehicle has a very bad case of “being based on a Centurion” syndrome. The M44, on the other hand, is based on a Bulldog and thus would fit the meta much better. With this in mind, I think the the British M44 should be added as a squadron alternative to the indigenous FV3805. The M44 is still a service vehicle and thus shouldn’t be locked behind a paywall, however, due to how many in-game nations operated M44s, it would likely not be unique like the FV3805.

Specifications:

Armament: 155mm M114 howitzer and 1x 12.7mm HMG

Dimensions: 6.16m, 3.24m, 3.11m (L,W,H)

Weight: 29000kg

Armor: Proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters

Crew: 5

Ammunition: HE and Smoke

Speed: 56kph

Horsepower: 450hp

Pictures:

Front View:

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Side View:

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Alongside a Ferret and Saladin:

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Sources:

M44 | Weaponsystems.net

Cardinal Who?

http://www.massimocorner.com/afv/Surviving_M44.pdf

M44 self-propelled howitzer - Wikipedia

M44 Self Propelled Howitzer (1953)

M44 (155 mm self-propelled howitzer) : USA (USA)

1 Like

+1, though I feel the Abbot would be a better choice to fill that niche

1 Like

The Abbot would play much less like an SPG and more like a light tank due to its comparatively underwhelming HE and main round being HESH. This one is a classic mobile derp gun that follows a proven formula. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see the Abbot, however, I just don’t see it filling the niche the M44 can.